Notre Dame will probably only have 18 or 19 scholarships in the 2011 recruiting class. The Irish have obvious needs on the defensive side of the ball and a considerable amount of their recruiting focus has been there. Because of this they will need to be very selective about the players they take at positions where the depth chart is already fairly deep. As a result, it’s safe to say, that any player offered at one of those positions must be very highly regarded. Last week Irish Sports Daily’s Steve Wiltfong spoke to a couple of targets on the Notre Dame recruiting board, one at a position of need and one at a position of want. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?
Connor Wujciak, DE/OLB, 6-3, 245, Seton Hall Preparatory School, West Orange, NJ visited Notre Dame on the last weekend of June. He was accompanied by his father, Alan, a member of the 1973 Notre Dame National Championship team. For Connor it was the second time he visited the Notre Dame campus though he was only in second grade the last time he trekked to South Bend. For his father it was a chance to see all the changes since he had last been to campus and to talk with his son about how Notre Dame was when he attended. The younger Wujciak’s versatility and toughness makes him very appealing to an Irish staff that wants to upgrade its defense.
“It was good,” said Wujciak. “It was nice going around and seeing everything. After being there again, I realized there were a lot more buildings there. It was upgraded a lot. They definitely helped themselves.”
Wujciak toured the campus and got to sit down with defensive coordinator Bob Diaco, defensive line coach Mike Elston and linebackers coach Kerry Cooks. He liked what they had to say.
“It was real cool,” exclaimed Wujciak. “They talk about how they have a 3-4, but they will play a 4-3 also. I saw they were real serious about both football and academics. They weren’t going to mess around with either one. Both were real important.”
As a junior Wujciak recorded 64 tackles, 11 sacks, three fumble recoveries, one blocked punt and one blocked field goal. This performance has led to scholarship offers from such notable schools as Notre Dame, Boston College, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Cincinnati, Michigan State and Central Florida. He has already visited Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Maryland and plans to take a trip to Boston College after his Irish visit. He hopes to make a decision before fall.
Justin Worley, QB, 6-5, 210, Northwestern High School, Rock Hill, SC planned to arrive in South Bend on Sunday, June 28 and not leave until Wednesday morning. This visit will, in all likelihood, be his last before making a college decision. Since this is Worley’s first visit to Notre Dame the Irish coaching staff will undoubtedly pull out all the stops to impress the South Carolina signal-caller.
“We’re kind of using June to visit the schools high on Justin’s list,” explained Peyton Worley, Justin’s father. “Those are the schools that have kind of risen to the top. As far as a decision goes, he’s not going to make any decisions before visiting Notre Dame. How soon he makes a decision, your guess is as good as mine.”
Earlier in June, the Worleys visited his other top schools, LSU, Florida State and Tennessee.
Worley’s passing statistics have been phenomenal. He has led his team to the South Carolina state championship game two years in a row. As a sophomore he passed for 3641 yards and 50 touchdowns while completing 57 percent of his passes. He returned his junior season and passed for 4366 yards and 42 touchdown passes while completing 70 percent of his throws.
After having signed three quarterbacks in the class of 2010 as well as adding junior college quarterback Nate Montana, quarterback is not a position of huge need in the 2011 Irish recruiting class. Nevertheless, a talent like Worley’s simply can’t be ignored and the Notre Dame clearly hopes to win the battle for his services.
“He (offensive coordinator Charley Molnar) told us they really like Justin on tape and they’re hoping to have a guy that can make a decision pretty soon, so they can head into July knowing where they stand with the quarterback position,” said Peyton Worley. We’re going up to Notre Dame with an open mind.”
These two summaries represent just a sample of the Notre Dame football recruiting information available each week on Irish Sports Daily.